Traditionally, brands and other non-game advertisers have been cautious about tapping into the power of mobile games. But mobile gaming is no longer a niche — it’s become mainstream entertainment. In the U.S. alone, half the population is now gaming on-the-go and that’s only set to increase.
If brands are not thinking about the mobile gaming audience in their 2017 mobile marketing strategy, they’re missing a huge opportunity. So what do non-gaming companies need to know before reaching a mobile gaming audience? Here are the key things I’ve learned working with global non-game brands on the Chartboost platform.
The mobile gaming audience is engaged and growing
Globally, the gaming market is worth $99.6Bn and growing. While half the U.S. is gaming on their phones, emerging markets from Latin American countries to China are taking over in mobile engagement. In 2016, 58% of growth of the global games market came from the Asia-Pacific region.
It’s also a lucrative audience, engaged on mobile and with disposable income to spend. Globally, there are 49.3 million mobile gamers who can be classed as ‘Big Spenders’ which is over $25 a month (read the full report from NewZoo here)
Chartboost’s mobile gaming network now reaches over a billion unique monthly users worldwide, and those users are a diverse bunch. When we look into the data of who is playing mobile games, it crosses a huge range of gender and age ranges. The stereotypical idea of gamer some is no longer true – today everyone games.
Mobile gamers engage with interstitials
When done right, interstitial ads — either static images or videos — are a great way for non-game companies to work within mobile games.
These interstitials have a completion rate of about 70% across the Chartboost network. That’s helped by the fact that mobile games usually have some sort of gameplay loop that involves natural breaks, which form prime impression spots — whether that’s at the end of a player’s turn, the end of a level or the completion of a challenge. A brief break from the action can actually be welcome and it’s something most mobile gamers are actually accustomed.
Though creating ads for games requires a different way of thinking from television. Even more traditional mobile or desktop ads are often relatively passive. As an advertiser, you have 15 – 30 seconds to capture a player’s attention. The quality and focus of the creative is key — ads needs a clear call-to-action, either strongly visible in an image or on a video’s landing page. Or better yet, make it totally interactive. More on that below.
In-game rewards are made for positive brand association
Rewarded videos are a great opportunity to create a positive moment with your brand that aligns with the game. Mobile gamers choose to watch an ad in return for an in-game reward like in-game currency or the chance to play the game longer.
For Brand X or Y, providing that tangible reward creates an authentic moment with the user to generate goodwill toward the brand. The completion rate on Chartboost for rewarded videos is over 90%.
Interactive playable ads for the highest conversion
Imagine as a brand you can present an experience that takes elements of game play where mobile gamers immediately immerse themselves in the 20 second world you created. That’s the power of playable ads, the most innovative ad format in the mobile realm today. It’s a quick, totally interactive ad that gives brands the opportunity to really reach the players who are interested in your offering.
For brands, this allows you to get installs from already engaged new app users. For players in the middle of their mobile game, this ad experience feels totally native and embedded. Advertisers on the Chartboost network are seeing an overall conversion increase of over 100% compared to static interstitials and up to a 26% bump in D7 retention.
Audiences are easily targeted based on behavior
Targeting is key for any advertiser looking to increase relevance and ROI, this is no different with the mobile games audience. From genre to sub-genre, geos, categories, device platform, gender, and even time of day can help you reach the right people at the right time.
When we worked closely with a female-driven e-commerce fashion business, the Chartboost team helped identify games with a large female user-base. We also used the knowledge that most installs happened between 10am and 3pm — during breaks at work or at home during school hours — for a dayparting campaign, running ads between the hours of highest engagement.
Geo-targeting specifically has proven effective in emerging markets. Chartboost has 260 million – 300 million users from the UK and Americas — but that’s 700M users elsewhere. Don’t forget to think about those valuable supply pools in the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China, which can often provide advertisers a great ROAS if correctly targeted.
Non-game advertisers can benefit from learning more about the opportunities available to them within games. The mobile game market is quickly maturing which means the advertiser’s experience will only improve. Working closely to define advertising goals and leveraging mobile game data, brands can set themselves up for success.
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